Thursday, February 22, 2007

FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio

KEEP AMERICA AS THE ONLY SUPERPOWER

The Democrats won the elections last year because of well-defined issues such as their pro-immigrant reforms and their anti-Iraq War stance. The Republicans have to soften their arbitrariness in their advocacies or find other pressing issues that the American people will support if they want to remain in control of the White House next year. One such issue may be KEEP AMERICA THE ONLY SUPERPOWER IN THE WORLD. It's always in foreign policy where the Democrats have shown utter weakness ever since.

Back to Philippine politics. On May 14th , the Filipino people will elect their senators and congressmen as well as provincial governors and city mayors. As I read news dispatches from Philippine press, I find it hard to find any distinguishing or dividing political platforms among the candidates. I really don't know what a candidate either from the ruling party or from the opposition plans to do when he or she gets elected. Most of these candidates are running based on their identification with political personalities and not issues. Instead of asking the voters to elect them on a platform to fight and stop extra-judicial killings of journalists, political activists, and other dissenters, the candidates would prefer their hands to be raised by a popular political personality or their hands to be endowed with millions of stolen money that belong to the masses. In this respect, it's getting to be very clear that Filipino voters tend to be easily subjected to shallow political manipulation or even worse to rampant vote-buying. This foolishness must stop to keep democracy alive in the Philippines. But I have no idea how it can even be discouraged given the nave character of the Filipino voters. At any rate, let concerned Filipinos try to wage a nation-wide voter education campaign for a start by identifying what a particular candidate stands for.

Another persistent problem that affects every Filipino is the issue of graft and corruption. Among the candidates now running for office, who have the track record of exposing and fighting the crooks in government? And who are already exposed as crooks but not yet prosecuted? I just hope that Filipino voters would not be so stupid to put somebody in power to rob them of money collected to be used for their general welfare. Anyhow, I do believe that what they really need are facts about a candidate's background, experience, and capabilities to respond to the people's needs.

I call on the media, both Filipino and foreign, to do this noble task of protecting the sovereign will of the people without blinking at any threat of millions and millions of libel charges. For Democracy is so precious a gift from God only to be left with the thieving devils.
End
junpolicarpio@yahoo.com

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